Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

his day; such as the youthful Achilles among the virgins of Skyros, and Ulysses meeting the princess Nausikaa and her hand-maidens at the fountain, painted by Polygnotos.

The opposite southern Pavilion was supposed to have formed the guard house for the garrison of the Akropolis, which thus placed on the flank of an assaulting enemy would attack his right side unprotected by the shield. During the late excavations, this interesting fact was ascertained beyond a doubt, several curious inscriptions having been disinterred on the base of the outer wall, containing the names of officers and soldiers who served as Akrophylakes or Guardians of the Akropolis. Yet further discoveries could not be made here, as the entire southern pavilion of the Propylæa is built up in the high square tower of the Crusaders, which as we said, has still been left standing, while destruction has fallen on all the Byzantine, Venetian and Othonian accessories of the Castle.

We now enter into the Propylæa, which are divided into two large halls or galleries by a double row of Ionian columns, leaving in the middle a passage for the cars and horsemen of the great Panathenaic Procession.

The opposite or eastern front, facing the interior of the Castle, is formed by a Doric Colonnade of six columns, similar to that facing the ascent on the west. This skilful union of the Doric and Ionic order of architecture is of a happy invention, of the most beautiful effect, and has always been the admiration and study of the architects.

Mnesikles, the Athenian, was the great artist whom Perikles entrusted with a work, which has formed a splendid period in the annals of art. It was begun in the year 437 B. C., and was finished in five years. From the time of its erection all communication between the city below and the castle, took place through these marble halls, of which the central one, between the two Ionic colonnades, was only opened to processions and on solemn occasions. This interesting fact has been proved by the late excavations in the south-western corner of the Akropolis, behind the Gothic tower, which prove that an oblique wall of great strength, and other buildings closed up the whole space between the southern wing of the Propylæa and the Castle wall.

The construction of the Propylæa commemorates the most happy and brilliant period of Athenian history. They were, according to the universal opinion of antiquity, regarded as the proudest ornament of Athens, while the Panathenaic procession, so beautifully represented on the frieze of the Parthenon, was deemed the most solemn festival of the nation. Therefore Aristophanes says, that the fond Athenian mothers held out to their warlike sons the distant glorious day when they, among the armed youths (Epheboi,) by their valor and excellent conduct, should be found worthy to guide their festal chariot through THIS Gate-way into the Sanctuary of Pallas Athene.

Hate and envy-Misos kai Phthonos—these strong feelings, so deeply rooted in the hearts of the ancient Greeks and their modern descendents—excited the other tribes of Hellas against Athens. Thebes, at the close of the unhappy Peloponnesian war-demanded the destruction of the Propylæa and the humiliation of Athens—but proud and wary Sparta, fearing her new Theban ally, refused, and when, some years afterwards, Epaminondas, the great Theban general, the Washington of antiquity, in Æolian the Assembly, desired to rouse the Beotian League, he exclaimed, “O! ye warriors of Thebes, you must uproot the Propylæa of the Athenian Akropolis and plant them here on the castle of Cadmus."

Lucius Cornelius Sylla himself, the cold and cruel Roman, in his victorious career, after deluging the Athenian city with blood, stopped here in admiration of Hellenic genius and pronounced the celebrated words:

“Let pardon be granted to the Athenians on account of the glorious works of their great ancestors;" and the sacred precincts of the Akropolis were saved and stand here before us at the present day.

They now form the great national museum where, among numberless marble fragments of statuary and bas-reliefs, we find a precious collection of several hundred inscriptiens, many of which are of the highest importance for the illustration of the history of Athens. Such, for instance, is the register with the names of the 800 cities of the Ægean, the Hellespont, and Asia Minor, which, during the brilliant supremacy of Athens, paid their yearly tribute in the treasury, of the Parthenon, for the prosecution of the Persian war.

Through the gateway we now enter upon the broad platform of the Akropolis. Of all the ancient monuments which occupied the interior, according to the interesting and minute description of Pausanias, only two have survived the storms of time—the Parthenon and the Erechtheion, which latter consisted of the Temples of Minerva Polias and of Neptune, united in one.

On entering the castle in 1834, we found the whole space between the Propylæa and the Parthenon filled up with narrow lanes, crumbling Turkish houses and broken minarets, above which arose the majestic columns of the most perfect building of classic antiquity. The entire ground of the platform has now been cleared of the modern ruins and rubbish and one hundred and fifty paces forward will bring us in front of the Western fazade of the Parthenon.

Other temples of remote antiquity, such as, for instance, that of Apollo Pythius at Delphoi, and that of Diana at Ephesos in Ionia, were larger or more magnificent, but they have vanished from the face of the earth, and the Parthenon now remains as the most renowned structure in Hellas, as the triumph of the most exquisite architecture, the pride and glory of the Athenians, and, as it were, the true centre of their nationality, which after the storms of twenty-three centuries—after the destructive wars of the Middle Ages, the shells of Count Morosini the Venetian and the sacrilegious robberies of Lord Elgin, the Scott-still presents its beautiful colonnades on the hallowed rock, as the most noble, the most elegant and most exalting testimony of all that human will and union, that human energy and genius ever were able to create-and surely there is not a traveler who would approach such a monument without the sincerest admiration and the most intense delight.

[To be continued.]

Art. IV.--LITURGICAL CONTRIBUTIONS.

FORMULA FOR CONFIRMATION.

}

[ocr errors]

[The import Confirmation is that rite by which such as have

of the Rite. been baptized in their infancy, do personally and publicly ratify and assume the duties of their covenant relation to God in Christ, and accordingly have confirmed unto them the blessings guarranteed in their baptism, and are solemnly admitted to the full privileges of Church fellowship [Qualifications for? Before admitting applicants to this rite, care

confirmation the congregation, that they be duly instructed beforehand, in the doctrines and duties of religion, as set forth in the standards of the Church, evidences whereof shall be given by a brief public examination, to be held on the Sabbath next preceding the administration of the Lord's Supper, or in case this is not convenient, immediately before the service, held preparatory to the observance of the Holy Sacrament.

On the day appointed for the confirmation, the persons to be confirmed, being plainly and decently attired, shall occupy the seats next before the altar or pulpit; and the minister, after the regular devotions are concluded, and the delivery of a short, appropriate sermon, taking his place at the altar or table in front of the pulpit, shall address the congregation as follows:]

ADDRESS TO THE CONGREGATION. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."

Beloved in the Lord : These young persons who now appear before you, present themselves as fellow-heirs with us of the grace .

of God in Jesus Christ. In their infancy they were incorporated with Christ and His Church by Holy Baptism. They have been reared amid the privileges of the Gospel, and subject to its sacred influences. They have been also specially instructed by us in the knowledge of Divine truth, and the duties of Christian piety. The grace thus bestowed upon them they trust has not been enjoyed in vain, but has led them by the way of repentance towards God, to hearty faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They desire, therefore, to be admitted to par

ticipation with us in the Holy Supper and other privileges of full membership in the Christian Church, in order that they may thus be united in closer and firmer fellowship with their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And to give evidence of their repentance and faith, and also of their sincere purpose henceforth to live unto Him who died for them; and further to assure you of their determination by the grace of God to continue steadfast in the faith against all temptations unto death, they here present themselves publicly before God and this congregation, to make their solemn profession and vow. And as our Lord Jesus Christ calls and commands all who feel their infirmities, and the heavy burden of their sins, to come unto Ilim for rest; and hath also instituted His Holy Supper for the special comfort and confirmation of such in their faith and love; it becomes us to welcome all who penitently and believingly seek the rich blessings of Divine grace, extended unto them through His holy Church.

We affectionately beseech you, therefore, that whilst you witness this solemn transaction with gratitude and joy, and extend the hand of brotherly love towards these our dear young brethren and sisters in the Lord, you may also fervently pray for the more abundant outpouring of the grace of God upon them, that they may be sustained and comforted in this holy profession of their faith and solemn consecration of themselves to the love and obedience of God their Saviour.

[After this address the catechumens, as they are severally called by name, shall come forth, and standing in front of the altar, be addressed as follows:]

My Dear young Friends :-You have this day presented yourselves at the altar of the Lord for the purpose of renewing your holy Baptismal covenant, of personally assuming its obligations and duties, and of receiving at our hands the sol. emn confirmation of the inestimable blessings and privileges vouchsafed in that covenant. Henceforth the sacred vows, under which your parents and sponsors rested on your behalf, and to the righteousness and binding authority of which you hereby give your voluntary assent, must be borne and redeemed

« AnteriorContinuar »